Indecent! Pre-Hays Code Animated Cartoons

With the explosion of talkies in the late 1920s, movie studios looked to talent from the New York stage to write dialogue and musical numbers. Studios quickly found that the salaciousness typical of Broadway wouldn’t fly in other parts of the country. The Catholic Church was calling for a purification of cinema, and the movies faced potential boycotts and edits from local censor boards. In the hopes of preventing government intervention, which would be completely out of the studios’ control, film executives enlisted Presbyterian elder Will Hays to create a set of rules for the silver screen.

At Cartoon Brew Vincent Alexander discusses the bawdiness found in pre-1934 cartoons and the naughty bits sneaked in post-1934 including, heavens to Betsy, animated examples.